On the side of very busy Cerrillos Road and minutes from downtown Sante Fe, Shake Foundation sits rather indistinctly. It’s a lovely building, to be sure. The dark grey paint and artistically designed name stand out, but not as a place for food. Indeed, “Shake Foundation” sounds more like a non-profit than anything else. But in fact it is home to some pretty delicious burgers.
Shake Foundation claims to be “dedicated to the preservation of the original green chile cheeseburger.” Everything is prepared to order, and fresh ingredients stand out. They make it clear that the burgers’ blend of sirloin and chuck contains no hormones or antibiotics, and that buns come generously buttered. The Double Foundation green chile cheeseburger is a celebration of good ingredients cooked with care and lovingly assembled. It’s hearty but not overwhelming; most diners order the double because the patties are so thin. The chile has a satisfying burn. The bun is soft but holds together until the last bite.
As for French fries, do yourself a favor and order a double. If you are four people, order two doubles. I don’t know if I agree with their name — shoestring — but they’re certainly delicious, almost nostalgically good, with crispy outsides, soft insides, and just the right amount of salt.
The Shake Caesar salad turns heads, served in a plastic Shake cup with an inch of creamy ranch on the bottom and a bouquet of crisp butter lettuce. We dip and crunch away. It’s a great way to get some greens.
OK, and now this is important: Order the Vietnamese cinnamon shake. The ice cream is heavy on the cinnamon, super thick, and creamy. When whipped into a shake, it’s heavenly. The chocolate is also very tasty, with a generous handful of chocolate flakes. The dairy comes an hour away from Albuquerque’s Rasband Dairy.
The whole experience is al fresco on picnic tables under bistro lights, no matter the weather. We order at the window under a sign that says “I COOK,” and pick up under a sign that reads “YOU EAT.” There are families and dogs and a lot of happy people going back for more French fries. Us included.